It is good to pause and look back on how things were, and to give oneself a pat on the back if appropriate (or alternatively a pep talk, if needed). Ombudsman Services has been operating as a single purpose, stand-alone, nonprofit program since July 2001. I was hired shortly after that time. The relationship between the program and the facilities was often confrontational. We recognized that if we wanted to participate in positive changes within the facilities, that the first thing that had to change was this adversarial relationship. Somehow we must turn things around so that facilities see us, not as the adversary, but as part of the solution. We began by inviting facility administrators to afternoon tea with their ombudsmen a couple of times a year. That soon morphed into an opportunity to offer training on issues we deemed to be systemic problems in the facilities. We brought in the experts to conduct the trainings, offering free continuing education credits to the administrators. It worked. When we first began, we had 25 guests to tea. A few years later we were hosting 250 people at the tea table. The opportunity to sit around a table with facility staff in a setting other than at the facilities was very helpful in building those positive, working relationships we wanted to develop. This could never have happened if facilities were not willing to embrace these changes and to partner with as we challenge them to deliver the highest standards of individualized care to their residents. We in turn hope that facilities will also hold us accountable for providing advocacy at its best, through developing positive, professional relationships of trust with facility staff and relationships of trust with the residents. It is only in partnership that we can succeed.